Both are a series of pastoral encounters in a fluid place and time, bathed in spills of color on a bare stage. Storm clouds occasionally menace, but these are resilient dancers, possessing an all-American can-do.
My experience with Spotify inspired me to re-examine my CDs with a view to a major clean up. So I looked at the impressive wall of more than 2,000 recordings and for some reason my gaze fell upon one, a box-set of an opera by Handel called Alcina.
Organist Paul Jacobs and soprano Christine Brewer come to San Francisco's Davies Hall on Sunday afternoon, October 18 to present works from their recording, Divine Redeemer, released last month on the Naxos label.
One of my first jobs after graduating music school was a production of Cosi Fan Tutte with Eugene Opera. As is typical with regional opera companies who rent performance venues, rehearsal space is always an issue.
Young tenor, Mingjie Lei, a product of the prestigious Curtis Opera Theatre, displayed the voice and confidence of the up and coming Bel-Canto tenor that he is. His tones were bright, without an edge, sort of a soothing balm to the ears.
In the Messiah the Jesus story begins with Israel's prophets. They anticipate the savior's arrival, which finds its fulfillment in the gospel stories. Israel's anticipation and Jesus as its fulfillment: that makes the story.
San Francisco Opera's fourth presentation in the 2014/15 season is Handel's hit from 1730, Partenope. Directed by Christopher Alden, the production debuted in 2008 and is a joint effort with the English National Opera and Opera Australia.
Mark Morris gets Handel like no one else gets him: He crafted a towering piece of dance architecture in L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, and now Acis and Galatea (the jazzed-up Mozart arrangement) gets the witty and lightly absurdist Morris treatment.
If you go to the Michigan Opera's new production of Handel's Julius Caesar, do not expect to see togas and laurel wreaths. Instead, you will see army tanks, sets, costumes and characters reminiscent of 1930s Hollywood.
For most people, the holiday season is over and done with. Christmas decorations have been put back into storage and the tree has been disposed of. But for arts entrepreneurs the situation is quite different.